HP Year 6:
Warnings for self harm in this chapter.
Harry awoke with a gasp, chest heaving as he tried not to vomit everywhere. His uncle was dead. He supposed he had known subconsciously that when he left privet drive, the death eaters would capture his uncle, but he hadn't truly given it much thought. He was dead. Harry wasn't sure how he felt about that. On the one hand, knowing now that he would definitely never see his uncle again was a relief. On the other hand… even after all that his uncle had put him through, he had never wished death on him. Especially not from Voldemort, who could never just kill his victims but had to play with them first. Remembering the torture Voldemort had put Vernon through was enough to make Harry chuck up all over his bed and he cleaned it with a hasty wave of his wand, feeling miserable. The emotions were too much, he couldn't handle this, he didn't know what to feel or think. Standing abruptly he fetched his penknife and rolled up his sleeves and let his old coping mechanism calm him down.
It was still only early evening so Harry went to find Sirius and Remus to tell them what he had dreamed. He found Remus sitting in the library. Remus looked up at his approach, frowning at him. "Harry, I thought you had agreed that you would talk to Sirius or myself before harming yourself," he said sadly. Harry felt his face heat up as he stared at Remus in confusion.
"I don't know what you're talking about," he said nervously.
"I'm a werewolf, Harry, I can smell it," Remus explained, standing and moving towards him. "Let's go to the bathroom so I can make sure you cleaned it properly, alright? And while I do that you can explain to me why you did it."
"My uncle's dead," Harry told him, and Remus only paused for a brief moment before continuing to lead him to the bathroom.
"How do you know that, Harry?"
"I had a dream… Moony, I knew the death eaters would go back for him, but I didn't ask anyone to go make sure he was safe…"
"It's not your job to protect him, Harry," Remus told him, pushing him down gently to sit on the edge of the bathtub. He pulled a clean washcloth out of the cupboard and dampened it and taking ahold of Harry's arm. "Any one of us could have sent someone to help your uncle, but we didn't because, honestly? He brought it on himself." Harry flinched, whether from the sting of Remus cleaning his cuts or from his harsh words, he wasn't sure.
"Maybe…" Harry said uncertainly.
"After everything he has done to you, Harry, I thought you'd be relieved to know you truly don't have to worry about him again."
"I am… I just, I never wished death on him you know? And… no one deserves Voldemort's torture."
"Torture?" Remus asked sharply. "Do you need your potions?"
"I guess so," Harry admitted. "I mean, I don't feel as bad as I normally do, but they'd probably help."
"Alright, I'll be back in a moment," Remus said, leaving the room. Harry picked at his newly bandaged arm as he waited, feeling uncomfortable. He had never heard Remus speak so dismissively before of someone losing their life. "Here you are," Remus said, handing Harry the potions he was supposed to take after having one of his visions.
"Thanks," he said, quickly downing them. Remus banished the empty vials. "I'm sorry for, uh, you know…" Harry trailed off, holding his arm up.
"You don't have to apologise, cub," Remus told him, hugging him. "Just try and talk to someone before you do it in future, alright?"
"Alright," Harry agreed.
"Now what do you say we have some dinner?"
Remus cooked a simple but tasty curry and left some extra on the worktop with a warming charm for Sirius and Tonks to have later.
"Where are Sirius and Tonks?" Harry asked as they ate.
"Tonks is working, and Sirius is at Hogwarts." Harry nodded and they ate in a companionable silence. When they were done, Harry helped clean the dishes and followed Remus back to the library where they sat and each read their own books peacefully until Tonks arrived in her usual chaotic way. Remus went to check on her, leaving Harry to finish reading on his own. He had just finished his book when Sirius attacked him in dog form, leaving saliva all over his face.
"Gross, Sirius!" Harry laughed, pushing the big dog away. Sirius popped back into his human form and sat down beside Harry, slinging an arm around his shoulder.
"Moony told me what happened while I was out." He squeezed Harry's shoulder. "I wish you would open up to us more instead of trying to cope on your own, kiddo."
"I know," Harry mumbled. "I'm sorry."
"You don't have to apologise. I'm not angry, or disappointed. I just worry. It's a dangerous thing to do, even if you do have magic to help you when things go wrong. It's been so long since you last did it, I thought you were past doing that. Unless you've been doing this without telling us?"
"No!" Harry said quickly. "I haven't. I just, when I woke up, I couldn't – I didn't know what to do. I just did it without thinking, I knew it was the only thing that could help everything make sense again."
"It's okay," Sirius soothed. "Eventually I hope that it won't be your first thought when something upsets you, but we'll take it one step at a time. But please, don't hide it from us. If you do relapse, don't hide it. Let us help you. You don't ever have to feel ashamed or scared to come to us for help, alright?"
"Okay," Harry agreed, glad that Sirius was so understanding. Everyone always thought that Sirius was so immature, that he was practically a child himself, but that was just a front.
"So what do you say we play some wizards chess before bed?"
Sorry it's such a short chapter. I'm so out of practice with writing! I'll try to make the next one longer. Sorry if self-harm isn't your favourite theme but I think it's important to show how Harry is still struggling with it. Too many stories have a quick cure, and most of the time it just doesn't work like that in real life. People can struggle with it on and off for years and years. If this is something that you struggle with, you can always message me :)